E T S Praxis Series

Middle School Science (0439)

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Topics Covered

Representative descriptions of topics covered in each category are provided below.

Current section: V. Earth/Space Sciences

V. Earth/Space Sciences

  1. Physical Geology
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the processes of mineral and rock formation
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the methods used to identify and classify different types of minerals, rocks, and soils
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of Earth and the physical characteristics of Earth’s various layers
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the internal processes and resulting features of Earth, including folding, faulting, earthquakes, and volcanoes
    1. Demonstrate understanding of plate tectonic theory and the evidence that supports this theory
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the hydrologic cycle and the processes by which water moves through the cycle
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition
  1. Historical Geology
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the principle of uniformitarianism
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the basic principles of stratigraphy
    1. Distinguish between relative and absolute time
    1. Recognize the processes involved in the formation of fossils
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the types of information fossils provide
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the geologic time scale and how it was developed
    1. Outline the sequence of important events in the Earth’s history
  1. Oceanography
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the geographic location of oceans and seas
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the processes involved in the formation and movement of ocean waves
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the primary causes and factors that influence tides
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the major surface and deep-water currents in the oceans and the causes of these currents
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the processes that influence the topography and landforms of the ocean floor and shorelines
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the factors that influence the physical and chemical properties of seawater and nutrient cycles of the ocean
  1. Meteorology
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of the atmosphere and thermal and chemical properties of atmospheric layers
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the chemical composition of the atmosphere
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the factors influencing seasonal and latitudinal variation of solar radiation
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the causes of global wind belts
    1. Identify the factors that contribute to small-scale atmospheric circulation
    1. Distinguish among the terms relative humidity, absolute humidity, dew point, and frost point
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of various cloud and precipitation types and their formation
    1. Characterize major types of air masses in terms of temperature, moisture content, and source areas
    1. Demonstrate understanding of high- and low-pressure systems
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the structure and movement of frontal systems (cold, warm, stationary, occluded) and the air circulation around and weather associated with frontal systems
    1. Interpret information on weather maps
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the analyses needed to perform short-term weather forecasting and recognize some of the methods used to perform long-term weather forecasting
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the regional and local natural factors that affect climate
    1. Demonstrate understanding of how humans affect and are affected by climate (for example, desertification, greenhouse effect, volcanic ash effect, El Niño)
  1. Astronomy
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of the major theories of origin and structure of the universe
    1. Define and use large units of distance (for example, astronomical unit light- year, parsec)
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the origin and life cycle of stars
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the major theories involving the origin of the solar system
    1. Identify the major features and characteristics of the Sun and the source of the Sun’s energy
    1. Identify the components of the solar system and characterize the physical features and movements of the planets, asteroids, comets, and other solar system components
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the geometry of the Earth-Moon-Sun system and the causes of lunar and solar eclipses
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the causes of moon phases
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the causes of Earth’s seasons
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of how units of time (for example, year, day, hour) are based on Earth’s motions
    1. Demonstrate understanding of time zones on Earth
    1. Demonstrate understanding of geosynchronous orbits and recognize how satellites have contributed to science and technology
    1. Recognize the contributions of manned and unmanned space missions and the present limitations of space exploration
    1. Recognize the scientific contributions of remote sensing